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Dubai: A housemaid who escaped her sponsor was lured into prostitution by a gang, a Dubai court heard on Thursday.

Four Bangladeshi men, two Indonesian women and a Pakistani man were charged with human trafficking after the Pakistani defendant sold the woman to one of the Bangladeshi defendants for Dh3,500 without her knowledge before she was forced to work as a prostitute.

The 30-year-old Indonesian woman arrived in the country in February last year through a maid’s firm. She worked with several families until she escaped from her last sponsor.

While on Facebook, she saw a post searching for Indonesian housemaids following which she got in touch with an Indonesian woman who told her about an Emirati family who needed a housemaid.

“I met the Pakistani defendant who asked for my picture in order to show it to the owner of my new workplace,” said the victim. “After a few days, he took me to a nearby villa where I met the other defendants who told me that the Pakistani man sold me and that I would work as a prostitute,” she added.

When she refused, they locked her inside the villa in Muraqqabat, which was used as a brothel.

“I tried to escape but I couldn’t,” she said. “After a few days they gave me a mobile phone without a sim card but I managed to connect it with WIFI and alerted my sister who works as a housemaid for a family in Dubai,” she added.

Her sister informed Dubai Police who raided the apartment, rescued the victim and arrested the defendants.

“She thought that she would work as a housemaid and was shocked when they told her that she was sold for cash in order to work as a prostitute,” said an Emirati police officer.

“We arrested the Pakistani man and he admitted to selling the woman,” the officer added.

The defendants were charged with human trafficking, running a brothel, illegally locking the victim inside the villa and criminal abetting.

The trial has been adjourned until February 2.